Mardan, Pakistan (APP) | A ten-member delegation of Canadian Embassy Islamabad Saturday visited the archaeological sites in Takhtbhai and evinced keen interest in the historical remains of Gandhara civilization.
The delegates were briefed about the historical importance of the archaeological remains by the officials of the KP Archive Department.
The members of the delegation in their comments on the occasion held Pakistan an attractive tourist country.
Pakistan is a peaceful country and its people are peace-loving and hospitable, they added.
San Francisco, USA (AFP) | Facebook apologized Friday for a "bug" that may have exposed unposted photos from as many as 6.8 million users over a 12-day period through third-party applications.
In the latest in a string of incidents on data protection, the leading social network said using Facebook login and granting permission to third-party apps to access photos may have led to the unintended lapse between September 13 and 25.
"When someone gives permission for an app to access their photos on Facebook, we usually only grant the app access to photos people share on their timeline," engineering director Tomer Bar said in a message to developers.
"In this case, the bug potentially gave developers access to other photos, such as those shared on Marketplace or Facebook Stories."
Bar added that the bug also impacted photos that people uploaded to Facebook but chose not to post -- in situations where someone uploads a photo but doesn´t finish posting it, for example.
"We store a copy of that photo so the person has it when they come back to the app to complete their post," he said.
Bar said affected users would be notified and directed to a help center where they will be able to see what images may have been affected.
"We´re sorry this happened," he said. "Early next week we will be rolling out tools for app developers that will allow them to determine which people using their app might be impacted by this bug. We will be working with those developers to delete the photos from impacted users."
Facebook has been facing heightened scrutiny over its data protection practices in recent months, notably since the revelations over the hijacking of personal data of tens of millions of users by Cambridge Analytica, a consultancy working on Donald Trump´s 2016 campaign.
Washington USA (AFP) | The United States said Tuesday it has added Pakistan to its blacklist of countries that violate religious freedom, ramping up pressure over its treatment of minorities.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he had designated Pakistan among "countries of particular concern" in a congressionally mandated annual report, meaning the US government is obliged to exert pressure to end freedom violations.
Pompeo a year earlier had placed Pakistan on a special watch list - a step short of the designation -- in what had been seen as a US tactic to press Islamabad into reforms.
"In far too many places across the globe, individuals continue to face harassment, arrests or even death for simply living their lives in accordance with their beliefs," Pompeo said in a statement.
"The United States will not stand by as spectators in the face of such oppression," he said.
Nine countries remained for another year on the list of Countries of Particular Concern -- China, Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.
The United States removed one country from the list - Uzbekistan - but kept it on the watch list.
Pompeo also put on the watch list Russia, adding another item of contention to the relationship between the two powers.
Yerevan, Armenia (AFP) | Armenia on Sunday holds snap parliamentary polls that were sparked by reformist Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan last month.
Here are five points on the culture and history of the tiny landlocked mountainous nation located in the South Caucasus.
Armenia, which in the fourth century became the first country in the world to officially embrace Christianity, is an ancient biblical land where the Book of Genesis says Noah’s Ark came to rest on Mount Ararat after the Great Deluge.
Now inside Turkey, Mount Ararat is regarded by Armenians as a national symbol and features on the country’s coat of arms and banknotes.
The Bible was translated into Armenian in the fifth century by Saint Mesrop Mashtots, the creator of the distinctive Armenian alphabet.
When World War I broke out in 1914, Armenia -- which for most of its history has been occupied by foreign powers -- was divided between the Ottoman and Russian Empires.
During the war, Ottomans massacred and deported more than 1.5 million Armenians in what has become the most tragic event in the history of the Armenian people, which they call Meds Yeghern, or the Great Crime.
Up to this day, Armenia and Turkey are locked in a bitter diplomatic battle over whether the massacres should be described as "genocide".
Armenia’s preeminent cultural institution, the Matenadaran museum, is a repository of the country’s national treasure -- the vast collection of ancient manuscripts that cover almost every sphere of Armenia’s ancient and medieval science and culture.
In recognition of its universal significance, the collection - one of the world’s richest - was inscribed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register in 1997.
The collection includes more than 17,000 manuscripts, books, and 30,000 other documents, that embrace a wide range of subjects such as theology, philosophy, history, medicine, literature, art history, and cosmography in Armenian and many other languages.
A symbol of Armenian national identity, the duduk oboe is a double-reed wind instrument whose roots go back to the times of the Armenian king Tigran the Great (95-55 BC).
Made from the wood of an apricot tree, the Armenian duduk is distinctive in construction and performance technique and characterised by a warm and soft timbre.
Duduk music accompanies popular Armenian traditional songs and dances and is played at social events such as weddings, anniversaries, and funerals. In 2005, UNESCO proclaimed it a Masterpiece of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
The Armenian diaspora that developed in the wake of the 1915 massacres is now vast -- around eight to 10 million people according to estimates -- and it includes some famous figures.
Reality TV superstar Kim Kardashian, the late singer Charles Aznavour, Hollywood’s Cher and France’s football World Cup-winning striker Youri Djorkaeff all have roots in Armenia.
The politically influential diaspora is strongest in Russia (1.5 million), followed by the United States (1.3 million) and France (400,000).
Paris, France (AFP) | In a medical first, a mother who received a uterus transplant from a dead donor gave birth to a healthy baby, researchers reported Wednesday.
The breakthrough operation, performed in September 2016 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, shows that such transplants are feasible and could help thousands of women unable to have children due to uterine problems, according to a study published in The Lancet.
The baby girl was born in December 2017, the medical journal added.
Until recently, the only options available to women with so-called uterine infertility were adoption or the services of a surrogate mother.
The first successful childbirth following uterine transplant from a living donor took place in 2014 in Sweden, and there have been 10 others since then.
But there are far more women in need of transplants than there are potential live donors, so doctors wanted to find out if the procedure could work using the uterus of a woman who had died.
Ten attempts were made -- in the United States, the Czech Republic, and Turkey -- before the success reported Wednesday.
Infertility affects 10 to 15 percent of couples.
Of this group, one in 500 women have problems with their uterus -- due, for example, to a malformation, hysterectomy, or infection -- that prevent them from becoming pregnant and carrying a child to term.
"Our results provide a proof-of-concept for a new option for women with uterine infertility," said Dani Ejzenberg, a doctor at the teaching hospital of the University of Sao Paulo.
He described the procedure as a "medical milestone".
"The number of people willing and committed to donate organs upon their own death are far larger than those of live donors, offering a much wider potential donor population," he said in a statement.
The 32-year-old recipient was born without a uterus as a result of a rare syndrome.
Four months before the transplant, she had in-vitro fertilisation resulting in eight fertilised eggs, which were preserved through freezing.
The donor was a 45-year-old woman who died from a stroke.
Her uterus was removed and transplanted in surgery that lasted more than ten hours.
Proof of Concept:
The surgical team had to connect the donor’s uterus with the veins, arteries, ligaments, and vaginal canal of the recipient.
To prevent her body from rejecting the new organ, the woman was given five different drugs, along with antimicrobials, anti-blood clotting treatments, and aspirin.
After five months, the uterus showed no sign of rejection, ultrasound scans were normal, and the woman was menstruating regularly.
The fertilised eggs were implanted after seven months. Ten days later, doctors delivered the good news: she was pregnant.
Besides a minor kidney infection -- treated with antibiotics -- during the 32nd week, the pregnancy was normal. After nearly 36 weeks a baby girl weighing 2.5 kilograms (about six pounds) was delivered via cesarean section.
Mother and baby left the hospital three days later.
The transplanted uterus was removed during the C-section, allowing the woman to stop taking the immunosuppressive drugs.
At age seven months and 12 days -- when the manuscript reporting the findings was submitted for publication -- the baby was breastfeeding and weighed 7.2 kilograms.
"We must congratulate the authors," commented Dr. Srdjan Saso, an honorary clinical lecturer in obstetrics and gynaecology at Imperial College London, describing the findings as "extremely exciting".
Richard Kennedy, president of the International Federation of Fertility Societies, also welcomed the announcement but sounded a note of caution.
"Uterine transplant is a novel technique and should be regarded as experimental," he said.
Gujranwala, Pakistan (Christians in Pakistan) | Gujranwala’s Christian youth Farhan Aziz who was accused of sending blasphemous text messages awaits justice as he loiters behind the bars. 26-year-old, Farhan was arrested on August 2, this year after a local religiopolitical group leveled charges of blasphemy against him.
Following the accusations, an incensed mob surrounded the street of Muslim Town where Farhan lived. Frahan had to be saved by the police as the agitated mob wanted to kill him. Many Christians living in the street fled out of fear as the mob showed aggression wanting to execute extra-judicial judgment.
“Most of the Christian families had run from the area and, when the protests started, we ensured the safety of the Christians,” World Watch Monitor quoted a local police official Jawad Answer. The police chief said that in order to avert violence a police contingent had to be stationed at the scene so as to ensure the security of Christian residents.
Farhan’s family unfolded that the accusations were fabricated as victim’s ex-girlfriend had sent the blasphemous text messages from a phone registered in Farhan’s name. “We are told that text messages were sent by [the woman’s] family and two of her family members were also arrested by the police,” Pastor Niamat Bhatti confirmed.
Sources revealed to Christians in Pakistan that Farhan’s ex-girlfriend who is also a Christian tried to embroil him in the fake blasphemy case. Her brother sent the text message from the mobile phone registered in Farhan’s name. Police arrested Farhan and the girl’s brother. Their location is still undisclosed as no details of the progress, in this case, were made available for media.
Shortly after the incident, a local Human Rights organization intervened and tried to succor the victim but a rights’ activist Ms. Karamat took the matter in her hands. So far, no details of the case have been provided either by police and by Ms. Karamat.
A recently discovered data breach may have exposed the personal information of about 100 million Quora users, the question and answer website said Monday.
Account information, including names, email addresses, encrypted passwords and data imported from linked networks when authorized by users may have been compromised, it said.
"We recently discovered that some user data was compromised as a result of unauthorized access to one of our systems by a malicious third party," Quora Chief Executive Adam D'Angelo wrote in a blog post.
"We are working rapidly to investigate the situation further and take the appropriate steps to prevent such incidents in the future."
"We're in the process of notifying users whose data has been compromised," he added.
Quora is investigating the issue and said it has notified law enforcement officials.
Massive data breaches have become a common occurrence as hackers exploit vulnerabilities in the information technology systems used by businesses.
Last week, Marriott International said hackers had copied data from the reservation database for its Starwood Hotels brand, with unauthorized access dating back to 2014.
Earlier in the year, social networking giant Facebook disclosed a security breach where 29 million users had their personal information exposed.